It takes more than a rumor to bring down Superman — on Monday, March 5, Henry Cavill confirmed that he is not dead after an internet hoax suggested otherwise. The Justice League star posted an image to Instagram on Mar. 5 that shows his surprised and confused face next to a screenshot of a webpage. The page showed a Google search bar with Cavill's name in it, and a Wikipedia title card entry stating his date of death as Mar. 3, 2018. "When you learn that you died 2 days ago....," Cavill captioned the image, reassuring his followers on the social media platform that he is in fact still alive.
According to Newsweek, the error was the result of a Google glitch, potentially due to their sourcing of basic bio details through Wikipedia. It seems possible that all one would have to do in order to influence the search results is update Cavill's Wikipedia page with a new death date. But regardless of how the confusion began, the issue may not have been rectified until after Cavill himself pointed it out. Yahoo reports that as of Monday morning, the erroneous death date was still listed. The also noticed that if you Googled "Henry Cavill died" the word "died" would hyperlink to a title card that again states the actor's death day as Mar. 3.
As of Monday afternoon, the issue had been fixed, but it no doubt gave the 34-year-old actor's fans quite a scare in the meantime. Cavill isn't much of a social media user, which means he often goes for long stretches without updating. Or at least for comparatively long stretches, when contrasted with other celebrities, or even the average social media user. It isn't particularly rare for the Brit to take weeks between postings, leaving fans eager for an update on Cavill's dog, a black and white Akita fittingly named Kal-El, or his jiu-jitsu practice, or, y'know, whether the British actor is alive or dead. Just the basics.
Understandably, the mustachioed superhero's relatively low profile on social media means that every move he does make really stands out. Sometimes that's good, like when he notices his own death hoax and gets the word out quickly, rectifying the error. (P.S. Now we also know that Cavill Googles himself — celebrities, they're just like us!) And sometimes it puts a potentially unwanted spotlight on the actor, like earlier this year, when fans were quick to notice their idol engage in what was widely interpreted as a brief flirtation. When singer Demi Lovato started following Cavill, posted a drop-dead gorgeous new photo, and liked one of the actor's posts in quick succession.
He liked one of Lovato's photos in return, and even left a comment: "This is awesome! Nice one Miss Lovato!" punctuated with a thumbs-up emoji. It was later pointed out that the exchange appears to be over the pair's shared interest in jiu-jitsu, and does not appear to be romantic. But all of this goes to show that this isn't Cavill's first brush with the mischievous side of social media.
What's important is that he has a good attitude about the slip-up, and that the Superman actor is alive and well. Which is more than can be said for his character, after the way Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice ended. But Superman's return has already been heralded by the final credits scene, so it's lucky that Cavill the man has had a miraculous return as well.
The actor has Justice League 2 and an as-yet-untitled Superman project announced and in the pipeline, and two other films in post-production, due out this year, so his pseudo-resurrection couldn't have come at a better time. Fingers crossed that Clark Kent has similar luck.